In today’s blog I want to introduce a character from my current work in progress ‘Haunted at 4:12.’ He is an old gentleman who goes by the name of Meredith. He is one of the latter-day island people (as opposed to the ones who go back several centuries). He always appears to the main character Paul Bradley through a mysterious prism which Paul found washed up on the shoreline of the nearby beach. Whenever this prism lights up, which it does in a variety of bright colours, it denotes that Meredith has once again appeared on the scene and wishes to impart information to Paul. However, this information is not always of the most positive order.
There is a battle of wills going on between the island people and their adversaries the haunted seamen. This goes back several centuries to when they were friends and business partners, but then everything turned sour. This is something Paul finds out about as he becomes more and more drawn into the story which is developing right in front of his very eyes. When he first comes across Meredith he is impressed by his standing. He come across as a worldly-wise old gentleman with a lot about him. He warms to him instantly, but it soon becomes apparent he is not all he seems. He is hiding important information from Paul which, when it comes his way, lends a whole new meaning to all that is going on about him. He comes to see that the island people are not quite the innocent types they make themselves out to be. There is a dark history between these folk and the haunted seamen and, when Paul comes to understand the full extent of this history, he quickly revises his opinion of the island people and this Meredith character who he had previously viewed in such a positive light.
Paul makes contact with the haunted seamen and finds out something had occurred in the past which had brought about a swift end to the business arrangement they had formerly enjoyed with the island people. This had been brought about by some wrongdoing which the island people had been guilty of. This had led to the demise of the seamen. This was why they had returned many centuries later as ghosts to address the issue which had brought about their downfall. When questioned on this new information which has come to Paul’s attention Meredith is flippant and he still tries to direct the blame onto the seamen. It is at this point that Paul sees through Meredith and his act. He is not quite the sage old gentleman he had set himself out to be on their first meeting. No, he had since been replaced by a shady character who only existed to throw shade upon the seamen, thereby removing his ancestors from the blame which was so rightfully theirs.
With this being an incomplete novel there are still various layers of deceit which I believe Meredith is capable of. He is truly someone who is not to be trusted. However, he only acts this way in an effort to protect his ancestors. He knows they committed deeds formerly which are inexcusable but they are nonetheless his ancestors and as such he has to stand by them come what may. It is still to be decided upon what pathway he will follow next but whichever route he takes there is a sense that it will all end badly one way or another. This is a horror novel, after all, so there has to be a degree of consequences to be faced, an element of danger lurking around the next corner.
I have enjoyed writing about Meredith. It turns out there is an unsavoury side to his character, but I do not believe his act of being an old gentleman is entirely that: a mere act with nothing behind it. No, I can imagine in former times he was a good fellow who people would look to for the sage advice he could offer up. But as time went on and the influence of his ancestors took their toll on him he became a changed man. He needed to stay true to the men who went before him. He might not have agreed with how they went about their affairs, might indeed have been completely opposed to it, but when push came to shove he could not turn away from these souls. Some of them were from his own bloodline. As such he had to do all in his power to help them in their hour of need. And they needed him now. The haunted seamen had emerged from the bottom of the ocean to gain their fair measure of revenge on the fellows who had been responsible for landing them in this unenviable position. Meredith had to stand tall in the face of this opposition as, indeed, did all of the modern day island people. Their futures depended upon it.
Categories:My Horror Updates